It is incredible how much our fears can hold us back from success. Fear is on a sliding scale, and it is very personal. What scares one person is often a passion for someone else. Examples include:
- Fear of height vs. skydivers
- Fear of public speaking vs. politicians or performers (not much difference in some cases!)
- Fear of flying vs. hang glider pilots
- Fear of driving vs. race car drivers
We know, in our head, that we “shouldn’t” be afraid, but there it is: a flashing red light saying “DANGER” along with that pit in our stomach that holds us back from our greatness.
My biggest fear has always been public speaking. Even presenting in front of only three of my leaders used to cause me to shake. I had to have a PowerPoint I could read in front of them, or I would cancel the event. It would take me hours to prepare the “perfect” PowerPoint. Fortunately, I can now get in front of hundreds without panic and fear (and even without a PowerPoint)! Over the past few years, I have hosted more than 1,000 Zoom video calls with my students and downline, and I have no fear of doing it anymore. Not true on the first bunch of calls, however. Eight years ago, I struggled even to do voice-only conference phone calls. What changed? For me, it was just getting uncomfortable and doing it. I had gone Diamond and desperately wanted to be able to share my wisdom and secrets to my team and others. I prepared a great script, set up the call, and let people know about it. (I was greatly tempted not to tell anyone about it so no one would show, but I did it anyway.) My first call had 57 people on it, and I had to take a shower afterward because my anxiety made me sweat so much, but I did it! Whew!
My goal for this blog post is to help you get over some of the fears that may be holding you back. You can also look at Secret # 6, “Comfort Stops Progress,” for some other ideas.
Years ago, I learned an interesting acronym for fear:
When you think about it, this makes sense. After all, in my case-fear of public speaking-why was I worried or afraid? What worried me? What was the worst that could happen? I guess people could take shots at me because I told them something they didn’t want to hear, but there was no real reason for me to be afraid. It sure FELT real to me, butterflies and all, but the fear wasn’t justifiable. Most fears rarely make sense in our modern lives. After all, we don’t have saber-tooth tigers chasing us in our homes. So, it is all in our head. Our subconscious is trying to protect us, but from what?
Common Distributor Fears
Some common fears of distributors may include:
- Not knowing what to say when someone asks a question
- Not having the right product when it is needed
- Not smart enough to understand the compensation plan
- Not smart enough to build a business
- Not having a nice enough place to do presentations
- Not having a nice enough car
- Being too old or too young
- Not having enough time to build an MLM business
- Not having enough friends to prospect
- Not having enough money to build the business
- Failure in past attempts at network marketing
- Not understanding business
- Not understanding how to use the products
- Not building fast enough for their upline
- Not being a leader
- Not understanding technology
- Not understanding the full spectrum of the products
- Saying something that could get them in trouble
- Not having a computer
- Not having a smartphone
- Not having a supportive spouse
- Not being able to find their WHY
- Fear of public speaking
- Failing at giving a class – no attendance, failed demos
- Building a business and having your company shut down
- Getting sick from someone else at an event
Are any of your fears on this list?
One thing is for sure: if you push through your fear(s), you will become more confident. But how do we do this? The good news is that since fears are not real, all we have to do is push through them knowing they won’t really kill us. How do we do that?
Let’s pick some of the common fears from the previous section and come up with some possible ways to overcome them.
Not knowing what to say.
This fear is widespread, especially for analytical people. They don’t want to look like an idiot in front of others. In this case, the solution is pretty simple: memorize a simple script as a response to questions that stump you. Let’s say the question is “What product do you use for stress?”
Here are some possible scripts you could memorize ahead of time:
- “That’s a great question! I’d also like to know the answer to that question. Would it be okay if I call my friend and find out for you?”
- “That’s a great question. I have an app on my phone that has all that type of information. Would it be okay if I look it up for you?”
- “That’s a great question. I have a book I use to find that stuff out. Let me show you how to figure this out in case you have questions when I’m not around. Would that be okay with you?”
Memorize one of these scripts and try it out a few times. I’d recommend practicing your script in front of your iPhone video camera and playing it back. Keep doing it until it feels natural in your own words.
Memorizing a script is an example of one way to help you until you are confident enough to improvise on your own. After a while, you won’t have any fear when someone asks that type of question.
You should also note that the “what product to use” question is an example of one you should not answer instantly, because if you did it without looking it up, then YOU are the expert. Trust me; if you want your time back, you don’t want to be the expert. Show them how to look it up, and you’ll empower them to be independent of you. Over time, all your leaders will become independent, and you’ll get your time back. Very cool.
Not understanding technology.
The best way to control this fear is to become educated about technology to the extent that it no longer scares you. Do you have a smartphone? Can you call from it? Can you send a text? Can you send an email? What else do you need? If you want to log into the back office, call your sponsor or one of your MLM friends and offer to buy them lunch if they’ll show you how to log in and move around. Just make sure to tell them to limit their training to the simple stuff and ask them to let you do the typing and mouse clicking so you really get it. Fearful about other issues? This approach is an example of getting help to learn something you don’t know so you can start to do it yourself.
Failing at giving a class.
If you are fearful of giving a class, then make sure you have someone there the first time who is comfortable giving the class in your place, and then watch them do it for you. Next time do just a little bit of the class. You may want to have notes in your hand or a PowerPoint on the screen or TV. That’s okay. Later, do a little bit more of the class. Keep it up until you are doing the entire class. Now, you are the expert, and you will be helping your new people to do the same thing. After a while, they’ll think you were a born instructor. (Only you will know where you came from!) This approach is an excellent example of using baby steps to push past your fear.
Building a business only to have your company shut down.
This was a fear one of my leaders had a few years ago. I told her, “Do you feel you know more about sales and connecting with people now than you did when you joined our MLM company?” She said, “Yes.” Then, I asked her, “If our company disappeared, do you think you could shift your knowledge to another MLM product line?” She said, “Yes.” I said, “Then what’s the problem? You’ll have a little hiccup if you ever need to restart, but you already know what you need to know about selling and connecting.” She said, “Your right. Okay. I’m not worried anymore.” The problem and her fears were gone.
So, whatever you’re fearing, think through the problem and, if necessary, talk to your upline to come up with ideas of how to solve it.
In all the cases I’ve mentioned, you’ll gain more and more confidence as you build your business because you’ll either experience these fears yourself or have a downline ask you how to get over it. Remember, you can always read a book or ask an upline leader for some golden advice. You are part of a vast team of people who want you to be successful. Everyone above you for many levels is earning money on your orders, so they owe you some help. Keep going up your leader tree until you find some folks who will help. I’m sure they’ll be happy to do so. Just make sure you schedule a time with them, and don’t miss the appointment since they are probably busy too! Also, if you are afraid of asking them for help, then think about this: if you had downline distributors, even ten levels down, who needed some helpful advice from you, would you be annoyed and not want them to contact you? Of course not! So, reach out to them.
Another common fear is not knowing how to handle an objection from a prospect or someone you respect. Examples of prospect objections that may come up include these:
- I don’t have enough money to buy the kit
- I don’t have enough time to build the business
- I don’t have any friends
- I couldn’t do this MLM business
- I don’t want to join an illegal pyramid
A common approach to handle any of the above is called “Feel, Felt, Found.” To apply this approach, simply say these lines:
- I know how you feel.
- I felt the same way.
- What I found out is _________________________.
- Would you like to learn more?
For example, if they say, “I don’t have money to buy the starter kit,” you would say, “I know how you feel.” “I felt the same way.” Then fill in line 3 with something like, “What I found out is You can make enough money in this business to pay for the kit in three months.” Followed by #4, Would you like to learn more (or how)?”
Here are some great responses to the rest of that list of objections.
- No Time: “I build my business in the little five-minute cracks of time I have learned how to find in my life.”
- No friends: “The one thing this business does is to help us make new friends. Then, if we like them, we can offer them the business. Do you think you could make new friends by showing them how to make an extra thousand a month in a side business?”
- Can’t do business: “Turns out it is more about making friends and then deciding if you would like to work with them. It’s cool, and as you become increasingly successful, you’ll have lots of new friends.”
- Illegal Pyramid: “The good thing is that our company is not an illegal pyramid. Illegal pyramids pay their distributors money they make by signing up other people. We make our money through product flow.”
In all cases, you would follow it up with, “Would you like to know how?”
Hopefully, you are starting to get the hang of it. Just remember to take a deep breath when you feel that pit in your stomach. Step away for a few minutes if you can, and then do something that will help to calm things down. You can do this. You have already conquered so much in your life!
What would you like to do now? Review Secret #6 or continue to Secret #8?